The "Morning Joe" roundtable had a heated confrontation with Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of televangelist Billy Graham, for questioning whether President Obama is a Christian on Tuesday's show.
Graham has come under fire for controversial statements about Obama's faith before. On Monday, he was responding to a recent comment by Rick Santorum that initially appeared to criticize the President's religious beliefs. Graham refused to definitively say that President Obama is a Christian.
When asked if he believed that he was, Graham said that people would "need to ask President Obama" to get an answer. "He has said he's a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is," Graham said.
He defined a Christian as someone who puts "faith and trust in Jesus Christ," and contrasted that with what he claimed was Obama's arrival at Christianity. He said that Obama joined a church after the Chicago neighborhood where he was a community organizer asked him to.
When co-host Willie Geist pressed him to say whether he believed Obama was a Christian, Graham maintained that he "cannot answer that question for anybody."
However, his answer on Rick Santorum's Christianity was a resounding yes. "His values are so clear on moral issues," he said. "No question, I believe he is a man of faith."
Contributor John Heilemann took issue with this. "That is an amazing double standard you just applied," he alleged.
"You have to look at what a person does with his life," Graham defended.
He also would not say whether he believed Romney is a Christian. "Most Christians would not recognize Mormonism as part of the Christian faith," he said. He noted that Gingrich has been married several times, but that he believed that he was a Christian.
Geist questioned this. "So Newt Gingrich is a Christian, but you're not sure that President Obama is. And you said based on the way they lived their lives." Someone off-screen could be heard saying, "Wow."
"All I know is under Obama... the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians murdered in the Muslim world," Graham responded.
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